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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010
NCES 2011-002
November 2010

Indicator 4: Threats and Injuries With Weapons on School Property

From 1993 through 2009, the percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property fluctuated between 7 and 9 percent.

Every year, some students are threatened or injured with a weapon while they are on school property.

The percentage of students victimized in this way provides a measure of how safe our schools are, and if levels of safety in school have changed over time. In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students in grades 912 were asked whether and how often they had been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property17 during the 12 months preceding the survey. From 1993 through 2009, the percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon fluctuated between 7 and 9 percent. For example, in 2009, 8 percent of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon, such as a gun, knife, or club, on school property (table 4.1). Specifically, 3 percent of students were threatened or injured with a weapon one time, 2 percent were threatened or injured with a weapon two or three times, 1 percent were threatened or injured with a weapon four to eleven times, and 1 percent were threatened or injured with a weapon twelve or more times18 (figure 4.3 and table 4.3).

The likelihood of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied by student characteristics, including sex and grade level. In each survey year, a higher percentage of males than females reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property (table 4.1). In 2009, the percentage of male students who reported being threatened or injured in the past year was nearly twice as high as the percentage of female students (10 and 5 percent, respectively). Generally, the percentage of students who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property decreased with grade level (figure 4.1 and table 4.1). For example, in 2009, a smaller percentage of 12th-graders (5 percent) reported that they were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property than the percentages of 9th-, 10th-, and 11th-graders (9, 8, and 8 percent, respectively).

The percentage of students who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied by race/ethnicity in 2009 (figure 4.2 and table 4.1). Specifically, smaller percentages of White students and Asian students (6 and 5 percent, respectively) than American Indian/Alaska Native students (16 percent), and Black students and Hispanic students (9 percent each) reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. The percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon was higher than the percentages of Black students, Hispanic students, and students of two or more races (9 percent). In addition, higher percentages of Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian students and students of two or more races (13 and 9 percent, respectively) than Asian students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon.

In 2009, the percentage of students being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied among the 39 states for which data were available. Among these states, the percentage of students who reported being threatened or injured on school property ranged from 6 percent in Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Vermont to 12 percent in Arkansas (table 4.2).


17 "On school property" was not defined for survey respondents.
18 Subtotals do not add to total due to rounding.

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